Opening the Book Team

Meet The Team

The Opening the Book North America team is based in Williamsport, PA, close to our partners, Brodart Company. We provide innovative library furniture to schools and libraries across the United States and Canada. Jolie Conahan heads up our sales and marketing while Megan Fink joined us from Brodart and creates our unique library designs. Directors Helen Thomas and Rachel Van Riel are regularly in Williamsport too.

The US office works closely with our teams in the UK so we are part of one integrated approach. This would not have been possible 10 years ago but with email, Skype and the internet, geography is no longer such a barrier! Jolie and Megan keep in daily touch with our staff in the UK and we continually debate library and educational trends on both sides of the Atlantic to offer the best possible products - adapted to fit the different requirements of our customers.

When it comes to designing whole library spaces, using our BookSpace and Performance shelving systems, we bring the expertise of all our library designers to work in partnership with Brodart’s network of local dealers and their clients. Together we give great customer service from concept through to design and from manufacture through to installation.

Helen Thomas

Helen Thomas

Director

Helen is the driving force in Opening the Book’s success in display furniture. She has led the UK team to make BookSpace the premier supplier of library furniture in UK elementary schools. In North America, Helen shapes the strategic direction of the company with special responsibility for our marketing. Helen brings extensive experience from bookselling to help libraries adapt retail display solutions to the library context. She is getting to know parts of North America well – especially the drive from New York to our new office in Pennsylvania! Outside of work, Helen enjoys being at home especially when it’s busy with lots of family and friends.

Rachel Van Riel

Rachel Van Riel

Director

Rachel is a passionate advocate for the importance of libraries in the wider cultural and education sectors. Opening the Book’s development of the reader-centered approach has changed the way libraries in the UK and Australia engage with their patrons and released new energy and motivation amongst library staff. Rachel is delighted to bring new ideas and products to North America as every time she speaks at a conference (which is quite often), people in the audience ask where they can get hold of them – and now we can supply our designs manufactured right here in North America. Rachel loves the creative satisfaction of making change happen, whether in transforming a space, planning a strategy or motivating staff to experiment with new approaches.

Jolie Conahan

Jolie Conahan

Director of Sales & Marketing

Jolie has worked in the library and school industry for over 12 years and joined Opening the Book North America team in October of 2016. She has a specialty in digital marketing and uses her experience to deliver exciting Opening the Book product news to our customers through email, social media and more.  In her free time she enjoys gardening, a fine glass of dry red wine and quality time with her husband and son.

 

Megan Fink

Megan Fink

Megan Fink Sales & Marketing Co-ordinator

Megan has spent the last 7 years working in the library and school industry, and 3 years with Opening the Book products. She is excited to be part of a team that is bringing forward-thinking European designs into North American libraries and schools. She has already started to pick up on British colloquialisms and is hoping that a British accent will follow! In her free time, Megan enjoys baking, crafting and spending time with her family.

Arianne Goldsborough

Arianne Goldsborough

Library Designer

Arianne joined Opening the Book in 2014 just as we were starting to work with our North American partners. As part of our design team, Arianne works on 2D and 3D plans and visualisations of library interiors for our library projects in the USA and Canada. Arianne especially enjoys the 3D work – turning flat plans into 3D art to help clients understand a project better. In her spare time, Arianne likes staying in with some popcorn and a good movie, or a night out with friends - including a cocktail and some funky moves on the dance floor.

Michelle Tomlinson

Michelle Tomlinson

Library Designer

Michelle joined Opening the Book in 2012 with a specialism in interior architecture. Michelle leads the design team for our children’s work in elementary schools and public libraries. Her favourite product is the Book Tree because it’s like a classic purse – it looks good in every situation and goes with everything. Away from work, Michelle loves spending time with her dog, socialising with friends and keeping in touch with the visual trends, styles and the latest fashions – otherwise known as shopping!

Jonathan Turner

Jonathan Turner

Library Designer

Jonathan brings expertise in furniture design to our team as well as working on layouts and visuals for projects using our BookSpace shelving. Jonathan enjoys working on projects where he can combine great style with functionality. Outside of work, Jonathan indulges his other great passion – sport (often accompanied by a beer or two) and since being introduced to the NFL over a decade ago, has been a keen and hopeful follower of the New York Jets.

Richard Van Riel

Richard Van Riel

Layout Designer

Richard is the principal layout designer for North American library interiors using the Performance shelving system. Working alongside Rachel’s research into patron behaviour and successful positioning of displays, Richard invented our unique propeller shelving shapes which have revolutionised library design. In his spare time, Richard is a junk-shop fiend and an enthusiastic cook. One of Richard’s ambitions is to get to the Sequioa National Park – that may now be a bit nearer than it was!

Website Developer
Tristan Campbell

Website Developer

Tristan is Opening the Book's IT guru and has created all our websites – Opening the Book, whichbook.net (used by 21,300 North Americans each month) and the online training platform for our Frontline courses. For Opening the Book North America, he has brought new sites for the USA and for Canada into one unified system and given us a great presence on both sides of the Atlantic. When Tristan is not engrossed in programming and coding he loves to spend time at home with his 2 boys and is also a very keen landscape photographer. He can often be found early in the morning on the moors capturing atmospheric images of beautiful landscapes.

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